Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Good Wife

In my opinion, The Good Wife is absolutely riveting, must watch TV, and I can't wait for Series 3. I know that both Series 1 and Series 2 are currently playing around the world, so won't give away any vital plot twists and turns in this post... except to say that there are plenty, and if you haven't seen them all, keep watching!

The series has won critical acclaim, both for the excellent writing by writing team Robert King and Michelle King, and by the fantastic acting by the entire cast. Ridley Scott and Tony Scott are amongst it's impressive executive producer team, and the attention to detail shows.

As I'm a writer - for me the icing on the cake is the strong writing - and the perfect portrayal of the characters by the talented actors. I could talk about them all day, but I'm going to focus on my two favorites in this post - two strong women characters - Alicia Florrick (played by Julianna Margulies) and Kalinda Sharma (played by Archie Panjabi).
Alicia FlorrickI've long been a fan of Julianna Margulies, from right back in the ER days, when she and gorgeous George were a couple-but in my opinion, Alicia Florrick is her most perfect role. Everyone has their own preconceptions about what they might do in her circumstances when the story starts-she's been publicly betrayed by her husband-and is thrust back into the workforce for the first time in 13 years. There was plenty of scope to treat such an emotive situation badly. But the character Alicia is stoic, brave and contained. No ranting at the unfairness of life for Alicia - rather a careful application to doing her best for herself and her children. The writing is masterful-a classic portrayal of the 'show don't tell' approach. Alicia is often hurt, in obvious emotional pain, but shows it by her expression, the subtle tightening of her mouth, and what she doesn't say. And each episode has it's own self contained storyline, with Alicia and the other's characters in the background building through each episode. It's done so sucessfully that I'm drawn in, week after week. And often surprised at what I learn about each character.

Kalinda Sharma
Archie Panjabi is a wonderful actress. And she has been gifted a great role, as Kalinda, a woman wreathed in secrets, unwilling to share anything of herself, who over time becomes Alicia's closest confidante and best friend. Once again, like Alicia, we know there is a hell of a lot going on below the surface. We wonder about her background, her lovers, what she cares about. And I for one enjoy the way she manipulates, investigates and earns the admiration of all who come in contact with her. She's a fantastic heroine, scarred and vulnerable in the peeks that we get of her character's inner journey.

In conclusion, I applaud all involved in the making of this terrific series. Alicia and Kalinda are real. Their actions are driven by their motivations, and as such they come across as believable characters because they act the way Alicia and Kalinda would in the circumstances they find themselves in. They are also strong heroines, living life on their terms. Facing adversity, feeling the pain, and dealing with it.
They're the sort of heroine's I love. the ones I try to write. And  I can't wait for Series 3...

For a rundown of The Good Wife on Wikipedia, see here.


  1. I really can't pick a favourite in this show. I love them ALL! Diane rocks in her own way (have loved her since her Sybil days) and Will is totally awesome! Even the secondary characters are perfect! Lovely post, Sally! Can't wait for Season 3 either!

  2. I just picked out two, because they're awesome heroines, Maya. But I em all!!

  3. Oh, I love the Good Wife too. It's one of two shows that I actually watch (the other being Glee, which also has gifted writers, but in a completely different way!)

    Alicia is inspirational: so self-contained and controlled, and yet, somehow, I care deeply about her character. We are in between seasons here in Australia (actually not sure if I've just watched 1 or 2...came in half way) but I'm itching for it to come back. And the sexual tension with her and Will...hoh boy ;)

  4. Yup, it is great isn't it, Madeline?

  5. To be honest I don't know this show, although I don't watch TV hardly at all. Now I've finished my challenge it may be the diversion I need. :)

    I did make another comment, so I do hope it doesn't double up.

  6. Do try it, Suzanne, it's totally worth it!

  7. I really must get my hands on this show since all you UK Minxes are raving about it!